Remembering Lee Stanley

Lee 3Lee Stanley is remembered for keeping traditions alive at RS. Mike Newall of the Philadelphia Inquirer (August 19, 2014) wrote: “To the members of Congregation Rodeph Shalom, Lee Stanley was a keeper of history – a beloved, rumpled man who wore a straggly beard and oversize suits, and kept at his enthusiastic recall an unmatched knowledge of the congregation’s musical tradition. In his earnest way, fellow congregants say, Stanley could pluck from his mind details most others had long forgotten – or never thought to preserve: the precise date the congregation changed the melody for a particular song or tinkered with the Hebrew phrasing of a prayer.”

Do you have a memory of Lee that you would like to share?

5 Responses to Remembering Lee Stanley

  1. Louise Simons says:

    Lee was a sweet, gentle, and generous member of our Congregation. He honored my grandchildren when they were born and endeared himself to our family by always inquiring about them. In Torah Study, he brought the wisdom of Maimonides to the discussions. He shared his extensive knowledge of Rodeph Shalom’s past, and also he embraced the future through his enthusiasm over Cantor Erin when she was hired. His death was horrifying. I’m heartbroken. God, please embrace this genuinely good soul.

  2. docbzf says:

    Reblogged this on docbzf and commented:
    lee loved singing at RS . . . his ‘ third space ” home away from home . He also contributed to our weekly Shabbat morning Torah study sessions by reading from his copy of Rashi’s commentaries . He was a unique human soul who will be truly missed .

  3. Dan Seltzer says:

    I will remember Lee as a person with unsurpassed love of Rodeph Shalom, Torah Study, worship service music, and local sports. We had many chats about these topics over the last 15 years that I have been an active member of the congregation. His insights and opinions were surprisingly nuanced and thoughtful. Talking with Lee was usually a good learning experience for me. His passing in this manner is so sad and I will miss seeing him and learning from him.

  4. David Spear says:

    It’s hard to believe that such a gentle person as Lee was murdered. I suspect he was so introspective outside RS that he could not have given anyone sufficient motive for such a crime. I have an idea different from the police, based on what information is public knowledge about his death.

    I suspect that he was reaching for the fire extinguisher for some reason. Since he was not very strong, it may have fallen on him crushing his chest He might well have had osteoporosis (breakable bones) making the crushing worse, quite possibly causing the “blunt chest trauma”. Then if the squeeze handle had happened to fall between the fire extinguisher and his body, it could activate covering his body with the fire-extinguisher powder.

    Obviously this theory depends on specifics about the damage to him. If anyone knows any specifics that would either support or rule-out this theory, please let me know. Otherwise, I will suggest it to the police.

    • Lyn Linker says:


      Although you have an interesting theory I respectfully must disagree.

      Full disclosure-I was out of town at a Veterans Convention when Lee was murdered but a member of RS called my cell and told me. Because I had my laptop with me I was able to follow the developments on the websites of the Philadelphia Inquirer and KYW.

      It is illogical to suggest the Lee was reaching for a fire extinguisher-everyone I know who has one keeps it on the floor, not on a shelf or ledge above them. Also, there was nothing in the news reports of a fire at the house.

      The original reports labeled Lee’s death as “suspicious”, but after the autopsy his death was ruled a homicide(described as “horrific” by a police spokesman) and upgraded to homicide, with the city offering a $20,000 reward.

      My theory-and this is only MY theory-is that Lee was murdered because someone thought he had money. There is currently a house for rent on his street at $2100/month for rent. It is, to be blunt, a tony street in the heart of Center City.(it was not when his parents bought it many years ago, of course, but the killer(s) wouldn’t know that.)

      I agree with you that it is unreal that a “gentle person” as Lee was murdered and it is totally unfair. But the bottom line is there is a lot of evil in this world. Unfortunately Lee Stanley was not the first nice person to be murdered in a horrible way and he will not be the last. Just read the daily papers or look at the TV news or listen to KYW radio. It has happened before and will happen again.

      I would be curious to know what the police say when you present your theory to them, if you choose to share it with me, either on this blog or at Torah Study.

      Of course I would rather Lee had died by accident rather than be murdered but unfortunately the facts point to murder.

      Respectfully submitted,

      Lyn Linker

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